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The Silent Lady

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,335 ratings  ·  111 reviews
The woman with the shocking revelation who presented herself at the offices of the respectable firm of London solicitors was, the receptionist decided, clearly a vagrant who had been sleeping on the streets. The clothes that hung on her frail body were filthy and she seemed unable to speak.

When she asked to see the firm’s senior partner, Alexander Armstrong, she was at fi
Kindle Edition, 351 pages
Published (first published August 28th 2001)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,335 ratings  ·  111 reviews

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Mark Tilbury
Catherine Cookson is one of favourite authors and this is one of a few of her books I hadn't read yet. This story creates a range of emotions as you read it. I felt sympathy, happiness and anger depending upon the character and the situations they were in. There is such a brilliant cast of characters in this story, and all excellently written and combined to create a truly moving novel.

The most amazing thing about this book is that despite the number of characters and the story going back and fo
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Catherine Cookson book I read, and it made me love her so much I have been going through each and every one of her books.
Julie Powell
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The best thing about Catherine Cookson's books is how she brings characters alive within moments. I love the way they are 'real' - whether good or bad.

From the very start, this story had me hooked and although we don't see much from Irene's point of view, it is about her - and what a wonderful hero she is. We see her faced with an unbearable life and how she survives...I don't give spoilers. However, the rest of the characters are all influenced by her in many ways - from love to hate to sorrow
Shirley Revill
Till I started to compile a list of books that I had read I didn't realise I had read so many Catherine Cookson stories.
I enjoyed every one of them and also the made for TV films that confirmed that the characters where just as I had imagined when I was reading these stories.
Sometimes I read one of her books again and I enjoy these stories just as much today.
Very well written. Storytelling at it's best.
Susan Johnson
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am surprised at how much I liked this book and how relevant it is today. It's about rich and powerful men abusing women and the sad consequences. What the hero of this book and her ultimate benefactor were able to accomplish given their circumstances was amazing.
Mr L Tipping
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Heart rending.

Have always enjoyed Catherine Cookson's books. Was not able to put this book down. It humbled me so much. I battled to stop my tears from falling. A book that I will remember.
Clare Lund
Apr 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Clare by: Joanne Balgaard
I don't usually read period books but this gave insight to London during the 50's and the story was not only plausible but kept my interest.
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A compelling story of tragedy, loss and love. Highly recommended.
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
EASY, EASY If you’re looking for a good in-between, clean, wholesome, easy to read book…this one will do. The story centers around Irene/Reenee who goes silent (and missing from some) for 27 years. I was interested in the details and I didn’t want to put the book down so that I could unravel the mystery. All was well until the end…I struggled through the last 30 pages but I knew exactly how it would wrap up. The writing and the story bogged down with eye-rolling sappiness and all lived happily e ...more
Bonny Howe
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of all the novels Catherine cookson wrote I think this one is by far the very book Catherine
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful story, sad and sweet, heartrending yet uplifting. Memorable characters, an all round enjoyable read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Cookson is a favorite author. She gives a full life outlook in her novels. The crux of this one is to understand how a vagrant type person could be wearing such quality clothes when she shows up at an attorney's office and then collapses. AND it is quite a story that unfolds. Unfolding, being the key word here. It was a fascinating journey.
First time I have read Catherine Cookson and I understand this was her last book. She seemed compelled to write this last novel, even though she dictated it from her bed. The setting was intriguing and I must admit I enjoyed reading "man's humanity to man" for a change even though the story was maudlin. This was a quick read that I will easily forget, yet for an evening it entertained.
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Borrowed this as my January kindle prime book. Rather sappy sentimental drivel with an initially overwhelming busload of subsequently underdeveloped characters. There's a reason some authors don't want certain works published.
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it from the beginning right through to the end!

Loved this book. Loved the story and the way it was written. Found i couldn't put it down from the moment i turned the first page.
Keith Evans
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read from this wonderful writer. This was her final book and completes my reading of all her books.
Les Wilson
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was only going to give this book 3* until I reach the latter part, then I was so enthralled by it that I push it to the 5*. I'm not an emotional man, but this book brought tears to my eyes.
marion power
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Diverting story

I really enjoyed reading this book. As always Catherine Cookson novels are gripping and an easy read. It's a shame there will be no more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a gripping tale of a women who had been greatly abused, gained the courage to escape, and finally found her voice through an adopted family of friends who loved her and respected her and helped her to heal.

Sumary by Pat Maynard
In 1955, a frail, disheveled and somewhat disoriented woman dressed in rags enters the upscale office of a respected London solicitor asking to see Mr. Armstrong. Although the receptionist is hesitant to comply with her request, she calls her employer and tells hi
Hadley M.  Swiss
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finishing this book leaves you silent - the kind of quiet that comes after following a beautiful, meaningful story.
Like the other book I'd discovered in the library with a missing book jacket (The Potter's House), this was a treasure hidden among the shelves. Catherine Cookson, who recorded the story on a tape within a month while plagued by 'bodily afflictions', wrote the heartrending story of "The Silent Lady"; of a woman stumbling away from her awful past as a lady into a new, silent life as
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Catherine Cookson died in 1998 at nearly 92 years of age but fortunately, she had several books written that hadn't yet been published, one of them being her last novel, The Silent Lady which was published in 2001.
Because her books are usually depressing for she writes of the hardship of poverty, the abuse from husbands of wives, the abuse of mothers or fathers with their half-starved, poorly educated and hard working children, the survival of people living 'rough', the rich versus the poor, I h
Pat Jorgenson Waterchilde
Oh, Ms. Cookson wrote a good story! As I began reading The Silent Lady, I became totally engrossed in the storyline wondering where Irene's life would lead her once she fled from her abusive husband.
Expertly, Ms. Cookson weaves a beautiful story that is filled with love, care and devotion. The novel ends and with a smile and sigh as I close the pages of another wonderful novel, well written and a very engaging read!
Sallie Brown
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great book. I forgot how much I loved Catherine Cookson. The book is about Irene who married into a fortune but also suffered at the hands of her husband terribly. She finds herself alone on the streets and mentally and physically damaged. She meets a cast of characters and finds the true meaning of friendship and a family. I would definitely recommend this book. It is very reminiscent of a Victoria Holt novel also whom I love.
barbara jones
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just love Catherine Cookson. She brings to life the harrowing tales of life in England in days gone by.

This story will bring tears to your eyes. Smiles to your lips. And anger in your heart that people had to live in such poverty and hunger, whilst the rich of the nation ignored the plight of the poor and homeless.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love Catherine Cookson, but this one is... Bella reminded me of Aggie in Rag Nymph. I like Aggie type of characters, and I liked Bella very much. But, I wanted Bella to be the main character till the end, but the end was all about Rechard and his friends... very little Bella... The story was too well concluded.
Dawn sanderson
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I loved loved loved this beautiful ,heartwarming story of kindness and friendship during the terrible hardship of life in the twenties and thirties, I cried and laughed my way through this beautifully written book. I won't spoil it by revealing the plot but I will say this is a book that will stay in your memory long after you have read it wonderful
Sherry Partington
I loved this book. From beginning to end. It captured everything that was needed . Bella, rough but big-hearted. Joe and Carl. The boys that joined later. It made me happy, sad, scared and 100% satisfied
Going to break from Ms. Cookson but I can't wIt to come back and read more of her down ti earth work.
Carole Litster
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. It brought such a range of emotions. Believable characters. Catherine Cookson books have always held my attention but is many years since I have read one of her books. Couldn't put down I had to read in two days.
This was an amazing story of one woman’s tragic life ruined by an abusive husband and resulting mental trauma. But somehow she survived to come out of her fog to reap rewards for herself and those who became her family.
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Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, who Catherine believed was her older sister. Catherine began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master.

Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby

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